Monteaux's knowledge and empathy with Stravinsky's music is well known and this splendid disc confirms that fact. I have rarely heard a 'Symphony of Psalms' that is so exultant and magisterially done with the BBC Symphony on true magnificent form. Monteux paces the choruses with knowledgeable depth and panache and the end result is one of the finest recordings of this symphony. Debussy's 'Iberia' is also beautifully shaped with the luscious orchestral sheen masterly and almost sensually portrayed. I also enjoyed the Wagner items, a splendidly trenchant and jolly 'Meistersingers' Overture and a calm placid Siegfried Idyll that shows Monteaux's empathy with Wagnerian invention. The concluding snippet from Falla's 'El Sombrero de tres picos' is another demonstration of this octogenarian conductor's versatility. Recordings have come up pretty well with the Wagner items particularly impressive. This is a winner on all counts then, and another gem to add to the priceless BBC Legends collection.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech